I'm a little burned out, and I blame McGilchrist. For those of you keeping score at home, we began our review of The Matter With Things on April 27, over a month ago, only for it to end in a whimper of indiscriminate new age panentheism. That's it?
Anyone feels suffocated inside anyone else’s intelligence.
I'm aware of this, for which reason I try to leave a little air for readers, and not fill every cavity with my idle speculation. Not only is this blog inneractive,
Sentences are pebbles the writer tosses into the reader's soul. The diameter of the concentric ripples that spread out depends on the dimensions of the pond.
Now, Bergson is as wrong as wrong can be, even though I understand the appeal, since he offers an intellectual cure for scientistic reductionism and atheistic spiritual retardation.
Except it's not a true cure, since the fundamentally untrue can never be a permanent cure for anything. I suppose it's more of a palliative: an opiate for the tenured, or for folks trying to extricate themselves from scientistic LH capture.
Again, I can relate. You first have to think your way out of materialism and give yourself permission to believe. Then you start embracing socially acceptable things such as Yoga or Zen, the latter so totally free of dogma that all you have to do is pay attention to your breath for the rest of your life.
After you've fooled around with your breath for a few incarnations, you can dive into gloriously unhinged countercultural practices such as orthodox Christianity, and let God do the heavy lifting:
Nothing attracts me as much in Christianity as the marvelous insolence of its doctrines.
Some people say you can't prove the existence of God. Maybe you can't prove it to them, but you can certainly prove the existence of the left, and the left hates Christianity. Now,
Evil has only the reality of the good that it annuls.
Therefore, without us -- without Racist White Supremacist Christian Patriarchal anti-LGBTQ+ Haters -- their whole universe collapses. No wonder they can't leave us alone.
What does that have do do with anything?
This principle of verticality is of critical importance, because -- among other reasons -- it was here before we arrived on the scene fifty or a hundred thousand years ago; it is not something "invented" by the RH, rather, discovered by it.
Ultimately it is why we have this bilateral asymmetry of the hemispheres in the first place. But reality is one, so in spiritual health both hemispheres should be dialectically involved with one another.
True, it is far worse to have a missing, underactive, or dysfunctional RH, but it's a little like choosing between sight and hearing when health, or normality, means possessing both.
Nor is there Sightworld separate from Soundworld, rather, one world with sights and sounds: the five senses are integrated by a higher one called common sense; likewise, we might say that the RH and LH are unified in a higher hemi-pneumasphere called intellect.
The closest McGilchrist gets to the intellect is Bergson's intuition, which is a very different function in a radically different system -- a system of pure becoming rather than being. I don't know how much time I want to spend on the primordial incorrectness of this view. Of Bergsonian evolutionism, Garrigou-Lagrange writes that it
is true from the perspective of the senses. However, from the perspective of the intellect, it remains true that the imperfect exists and is determined only in view of the more perfect.
Bearing in mind that ultimate reality is Absolute-Infinite-Perfect.
Evolutionism turns the cosmos upside-down, such that
self-creative evolution is ascending, and then, in it, the more comes from the less, the more perfect from the less perfect. It rejects the mystery of creation..., in order to substitute absurdity for it, now placed at the root of things...
God "goes from surprise to surprise" while being fully plunged into and identified with the surprises, as opposed to being -- in my view -- the very principal of Upside Surprise, AKA Continuous Creation.
Panentheism is okay but Creation is better. Having said that, the former at least "represents an admirable reductio absurdum proof of God's existence, for it leads one to choose between the True God and radical absurdity" (ibid.).
The above noted cosmic ne'er-do-wells such as Alan Watts often appear on the same page with luminaries such as Dionysius, Augustine, Aquinas, Nicholas of Cusa, Pascal, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Josef Pieper. (I suppose I shouldn't hit too hard on this, since I used to be prone the same indiscriminate approach to the vertical.)
Some of these thinkers are not like the others, and in more ways than one. Yes, the Catholic ones listed in the paragraph above are members of an organized religion which McGilchrist otherwise rejects. They are also much deeper and more serious thinkers than the others, and I wonder why?
Many aphorisms came to mind. I'm looking for one in particular but can't find it -- something to the effect that modern man seeks a religion without grace. To which I would add the original sin which is the shadow of our original grace and justification.
Now that I think about it, I would have absolutely loved The Matter With Things back in the 1990s, when I was just kid with a crazy dream, a suburban shaman wingin' it in the vertical and trying to invent his own religion. But now I say:
Originality must adhere to the continuity of a tradition.
There's a particular kind of music I like, which is... how to put it... right on the border between adventurous post-bop and avant-garde free jazz, structure and chaos, a musical now out of which novelty flows.
Now that I think about it, it's also between LH and RH, memory and anticipation, being and becoming -- like the religion the Almighty & me works out betwixt us, it is endlessly becoming but always in the orbit of the celestial attractor in vertical phase space, the Being Without Whom....